As the start of summer weather and ocean-side vacations set in, it’s once again that time of the year to stock up on your favorite swim and surf necessities. From boardshorts to wetsuits, every water-loving guy knows the importance of not only the style and fit of each item but the quality as well.
With so many different brands to choose from, knowing what you want and what you prioritize when soaking up the sun or catching some waves is of utmost importance, especially because some of these sea-side items can cost a pretty penny. Whether you’re the type of guy who focuses on style and design, or you’re a seasoned surfer who’s seeking the best possible standard, there are several surf brands that are worth checking out.
If you’re looking to up your pool-side or ocean-side wardrobe, read up on our list below of the top 10 surf brands for water-loving men to confidently cruise right into summer 2021.
If you’re the kind of guy who values both function and fashion, then Quicksilver would be a great go-to option for you. Quicksilver’s board shorts are known for providing customers with consistency and comfort, two things that are important when being active in the water.
Their most famous boardshorts are without a doubt the HighlinePro Arch Boardshorts. These lightweight shorts have a “stretch fabric design” intended for quick-drying performance and support. While the shorts are designed with surfer’s specifically in mind, they also work great for anyone looking to enjoy a full and active day at the beach.
In addition to offering modern and often minimalist-styled beachwear, Quicksilver also makes decent quality button ups, polos, T-shirts, and even pants, all with a cohesive beach-forward style. Whether you’re looking to be able to hop over to a beachside dinner in a short-sleeved button down or simply throw on a T-shirt to walk to and from your car, Quicksilver definitely keeps the water-loving man in mind.
Billabond, one of the most well-known surf brands, has been rolling out some of the most utilized and popular surf and swimwear since 1973. While the price point of Billabong is very similar to that of Quicksilver, the overall look is not nearly as minimalist. Those who prefer bolder styles and colors might be more drawn to Billabong as it has maintained a similar look and aesthetic that beach bums and surfers have claimed over the years.
In addition to their regular line of swimwear, wetsuits, and everyday clothing, Billabong also gives customers the opportunity to customize both boardshorts and wetsuits, putting an emphasis on the ability to soak in some sun, surf, and swim in style.
Another very well-known surf brand that’s sure to serve up some great looks for a summer by the sea is Hurley. While all beachwear tends to have a younger feel, Hurley’s clothing is perhaps the most youthful-looking. Many of Hurley’s partners include some of the world’s best skaters, surfers, and musicians, meaning their clothes are specifically designed with the intention to inspire and encourage.
Similar to Billabong, Hurley’s boardshorts and patterns are a bit more bold and colorful, meaning if you’re looking for something more understated or simple, Hurley might not be for you. However, the company’s high-quality fabrics also contribute to its popularity among the surfing and beach-loving community.
4. Rip Curl
Rip Curl is a great surf brand for men seeking clothes and colors that are a bit more understated and modest. While they do offer a bit of variety, many of Rip Curls board shorts and wetsuits come in very neutral or monochrome colors.
Rip Curl is a great surf brand for men looking to feel both confident and comfortable in their pieces, while also looking good. The overall style is a bit more mature than Hurley or Billabong, for example, meaning water-loving men of any age are sure to find something that works.
Rip Curl is also known for making some of the most comfortable men’s pants that can work as a casual option during the day or can be dressed up with a button down or flannel in the evenings.
For men whose love of water extends to a love of the outdoors in its entirety, Outerknown is a smaller, sustainable clothing brand that offers up incredible quality all while being environmentally conscious and eco-friendly. Though they are a bit on the pricier side, with their boardshorts running at about $145 per pair, the clothing at Outerknown is more of an investment; both in the environment itself as well as in the quality of clothing that will last through the wear and tear of water activity.
Along with their renowned swimwear and beach towels, Outerknown also sells amazing towel-soft sweats that are made from a soft blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton. Being able to throw on a pair of these after drying off from a dip in the ocean is the exact kind of comfort you’ll be craving this summer.
While they do have a heavy surfer following, Volcom is known as one of the most popular brands for skaters and those who like to rock a more casual look with hints of urban style. However, in addition to their various clothing lines intended for skaters, Volcom also places a heavy interest in providing options for surfers and beachgoers.
Volcom’s swim trunks offer some funky and fun designs for those seeking something a bit more eclectic than your typical swimsuit. Their rashguards also come in some fun patterns and colors, providing options for both thicker and thinner protection.
Despite Volcom being a more casual skate and surf brand, they offer some surprisingly nice quality jeans that are quite versatile for setting and scene. Whether you prefer a slim or modern fit, the options at Volcom are pretty impressive.
Former is a smaller, independently owned, and operated clothing brand that offers a limited selection of unique pants, shirts, and outerwear. While most of the options at Former are fairly casual, they’re perfect for the guy who likes to be casual yet different; free yet funky.
While some of the hoodies and jackets can be priced a little heavier since it is independently owned and operated, the T-shirt’s can be snagged for a fair price. While there might not be any water-specific clothing sold at Former, the brand has an undeniably surfer-oriented feel that bleeds into the clothing, making it a perfect option for the everyday water-loving man.
Former also sells some great beanies and beach towels that boast an artsy yet edgy style. Whether you’re seeking to hide some beach hair after a day by the water, or simply wanting to keep your ears warm after the sun dips down, a Former’s beanie is worth adding to your wardrobe.
Over the years, O’Neill has become incredibly popular as a trendy yet good-quality surf brand. While their primary focus is indeed on surfing and a more beach-centered lifestyle, they also offer snow clothing for snowboarders and skiers, making it a great one-stop shop for men who prefer to be outdoors in all temperatures and climates.
In regards to water activity, O’Neill has also coined the market on some of the most innovative technology available. One of their most special and most popular products is the Hyperfreak Hydro, a pair of boardshorts specifically designed for surfing that is completely seamless, preventing any and all rash that is commonly encountered while catching some waves.
9. Saturday’s NYC
While they do offer a couple of boardshorts options, Saturdays NYC is one of the best shops for short shorts. Though a lot of surfers and water-loving men prefer longer swimming trunks for functional purposes, short shorts are both comfortable and 100% in style right now.
Saturday’s NYC offers various colors and modern patterns for their short swimsuits, and while they may be tailored to fit a sort of “Hamptons” scenery, these trunks can definitely be rocked in any location. Saturday’s NYC also makes incredibly soft and warm sweatshirts and pullovers that are perfect for throwing on at the end of a beach day when the temperature begins to drop but you want to watch the sun while it sets.
RVCA is known for being a go-to spot for everything from beachwear, to workout clothes, to dress shirts. This diverse yet cohesive surf brand has really expanded over the years, giving a loud and impressive voice amongst the competition. While many tend to view RVCA as a good spot to grab some nice T-shirts or hoodies, RVCA’s boardshorts collection provides enough options to give it a nice flair without being too out there or complicated.
If you’re a simple guy looking for some good quality swimwear for the summer without the hassle, RVCA is a pretty easy shop that will result in some great finds. Their sports section also offers some versatile options that can be used poolside or beachside.